Week 26 – ‘Problems’

by Frank Hamilton

I’ve been trying to be a better person for a while now.  Not because I’m a bad person but because there are some things about me that I’d really like to change.

   “We judge others by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intentions.”

I heard this quote a few months ago and decided it might be one of the most poignant things I’ve ever heard.  Today, for reasons I don’t like and didn’t see coming, this was confirmed.

For the last hour or so I’ve been wondering how someone who over-thinks as much as I do could read a sentence so many times over so many months and still not get the message.  3 cups of tea and half a pack of hobnobs later and the only answer I have for that is the one I thought of straight away.  It’s because I’m a twat – a first class, grade A twat.

On Sunday 24th June it was my Mothers birthday.  I forgot to call.

You could say I was at Isle of Wight festival filling my head with Noel Gallagher, Bruce Springsteen and copious amounts of cider.  You could also say I was organised enough to have already bought a present/card and you could even say I’ve done well the last two years as far as Birthdays go (Chickens/Coops one year and expensive tickets to Tennant/Tate performing Shakespeare the next) but none of this matters.  None of it.

On Sunday 24th June it was my Mothers birthday and I forgot to call.

Our first reaction as rational human beings is to blame someone else.  Instantly I was angry at my Dad for not having the brain cells to call me at 6pm (when things must have been getting tetchy).  Then I sat down, thought of this quote again and realised I had it all wrong.  All of it.

    “We judge others by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intentions.”

For the last 4 or 5 months this sentence has been all about intentions – cutting myself and other people a little more slack on the basis that we probably meant well.  I can’t believe it’s taken me until now, sat in self-deprecating haze, to figure out that “actions” is by far the most important word of them all – and not just in this sentence.

It’s easy to sit there and convince yourself that you’re a good person because your aim is true but the reality is your aim doesn’t matter.  Your intentions, lovely as they are, won’t ever make a difference to anyones life except your own.  Fact.

So, with respect, I would like to re-write Ian Percy’s words of wisdom. Sorry Mr. Percy:

   “Take action, for your intentions will NOT go down in history”.

 

The Blurb:

The first few lines came about when I was missing home a couple of years ago, having just moved to London and been thrown into a house with 7 random Australians (see week 8).  I never really started (let alone finished) writing it and used to use it as an intro to You, Your Cat & Me in the live set but I’ve always wanted to turn it into a proper song.

Maybe it’s the subject matter (not visiting home enough and feeling like a bit of a shit person) but I literally couldn’t bring myself to work on anything else this week.

Part of me thinks it’s a shame – I was in a great mood post-festival and right up until the moment of realisation had visions of a happy-go-lucky anthem. The other part thinks it might be a blessing – if nothing else I’ll try harder than ever before not to be an idiot.

Recording wise I’ve gone about as stripped back and organic as I can bear to in #onesongaweek.  There’s 2 acoustic guitars (one’s very quiet), some subtle piano, a lead vocal and some ‘ooohs’.

 

Favourite Lyric:

“Say what you mean, mean what you say,
’cause you can shower all you want but it won’t wash your problems away”.

 

Half way through #onesongaweek:

Here we are then.  Half way through #onesongaweek.  I’m sorry we’ve not reached the halfway stage on a more positive note – in the words of Yazz, ‘the only way is up’.  Also if you’ve READ THIS and already applied to come along on the 22nd, don’t worry… it’s been a slow week at FH HQ but you’ll all be getting a reply over the weekend.

Yours for another 26 weeks,

Frank x

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